Joaquin Arias- TEX- Rise Value- Arias was called up to the Rangers yesterday due to the injury to Ian Kinsler. He will serve primarily as a backup middle infielder until Kinsler’s hamstring is better. Arias has seen his stock fall this year at AAA Oklahoma after getting passed on the organizational depth chart by Elvis Andrus. He has become allergic to the base on balls, drawing 13 walks with 380 ABs for the RedHawks. His .300 OBP is just not good enough to merit a lot of consideration as a utility guy at the big league level, which would be his most likely role. A trade would really be a boon for Arias, as he might be able to have a chance for a new start with a different team.
Robert Manuel- SEA- Trade- Manuel comes over to the Mariners organization in exchange for Wladimir Balentien. He has gotten a taste of the big leagues with the Reds, but is headed to AAA Tacoma after the trade. Manuel emerged as an effective reliever at AA last year and continued his success in 2009 after a promotion to AAA Louisville. The real question about him is whether he can overcome a tendency to allow fly balls. This year at Louisville his GO/FO ratio was .49. That could spell trouble in the majors.
Roy Halladay- TOR- FYI- Halladay’s odds of remaining with Toronto increased with the Phillies acquisition of Cliff Lee, but the constant controversy still seemed to bother Halladay. He threw a quality start yesterday, but it was still not pretty as Halladay allowed a season-high 11 hits over 7 IP and gave up 3 runs. His control was superb as usual, with no walks and he did strike out 6. For the third time in 4 starts Halladay made 115 or more pitches, but high pitch counts don’t seem to bother him. Over the past three years he has hit the 110 pitch mark a total of 37 times, several times getting into 120- and even 130-pitch territory. Halladay has shown no ill effects so if he does change jerseys there should be little worry about breakdown.
Luke Hochevar- KC- FYI- There are two keys to Hochevar’s game- strikeouts and homers allowed. The contrast between his first two starts this month and the last two illustrates this. The first two times Hochevar took the mound in July he struck out 8 and allowed 4 homers in 12 IP. This led to a total of 9 runs. In his last two starts he has struck out 22 and given up 1 homer in 13.1 IP while yielding 4 ER. How he does in those categories today against the Orioles will give a sign as to whether he is continuing to mature. A good sign for Hochevar is that as he has experienced regression to the mean (BHIP at .262) his production has improved.
Shin-Soo Choo- CLE- Hot- Choo extended his current hitting streak to 5 games and also extended his walking streak to 4 games. After having a stretch for much of the month where the bases on balls were not coming as they had been, Choo’s selectivity has improved. Of his 12 walks this month, 5 of them have come in this 4-game span. That bodes well for him being able to maintain his near-.300 average into August.